Bankei's All Things Resolved

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Bankei's All Things Resolved

Postby Astus » Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:25 pm

I'd like to get clear on the meaning of "resolved" in the "lion's roar" of Bankei.

Japanese says, 一切の事は不生で調うのではないか。
Both English translations render it as: all things are perfectly resolved in the unborn.

How 調うのではない becomes resolved? Is it like dissolved, dispersed, destroyed, melted, disassembled? Or is there another meaning? Is this something colloquial or can it be connected to any Buddhist terms?

Later it is said that Bankei's teaching can be summed up as 不生万調 (不生の心で万(すべ)て調(ととの)う), but this is contrary to the previous one where 調う is denied.

Japanese: http://www.sets.ne.jp/~zenhomepage/nipponnzen.2.html
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Bankei's All Things Resolved

Postby Qianxi » Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:02 pm

Unfortunately I can't read Japanese.

In Chinese the basic meaning of 調 tiáo as a verb is 'to harmonise', to make sure that things happen in the appropriate way, that the individual pieces fit the general pattern, and by extension to tune a musical instrument.
If you expanded it into a two character unit to be more specific about the meaning, 'to harmonise' would be 調和. 調 is also used in other two character units with slightly different shades of meaning. 調攝 means 'to take care of'' or 'to help recuperate'. 調伏 is often used in Buddhist translations as a translation of vinaya- 'to discipline' or 'to bring to submission'.

In the verb-noun combination 調心 ('to tiáo the mind') the tiáo could be read as having any of the three shades of meaning above (to harmonise the mind, to take care of the mind, to discipline the mind). 調心 is actually a pre-Buddhist expression implying taking care of the mind and cultivating a sense of integrity and of right and wrong. The expression continued to be used in later Buddhist contexts referring more to meditation.

There is a famous Chan painting '二祖調心' "The Second Patriarch Tiáo-ing his Mind" from just before the Song Dynasty. You can decide for yourself if Huike looks like he's harmonising his mind, taking care of his mind or disciplining his mind! http://arts.cultural-china.com/en/63Arts13705.html
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Re: Bankei's All Things Resolved

Postby PorkChop » Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:31 pm

Astus wrote:I'd like to get clear on the meaning of "resolved" in the "lion's roar" of Bankei.

Japanese says, 一切の事は不生で調うのではないか。
Both English translations render it as: all things are perfectly resolved in the unborn.

How 調うのではない becomes resolved? Is it like dissolved, dispersed, destroyed, melted, disassembled? Or is there another meaning? Is this something colloquial or can it be connected to any Buddhist terms?

Later it is said that Bankei's teaching can be summed up as 不生万調 (不生の心で万(すべ)て調(ととの)う), but this is contrary to the previous one where 調う is denied.

Japanese: http://www.sets.ne.jp/~zenhomepage/nipponnzen.2.html


Let's break apart what your quote says...
一切の事は不生で調うのではないか
一切 = the whole, the all
一切の事は = As for all things
不生 = un-living, the unmanifest
()で調う = to be put in order, resolved in/by ()
の = possessive, after a verb it refers to that which the verb has modified.
か = (question mark) ?
ではないか = aren't things such as this?
The final meaning becomes:
As for all things, aren't they resolved in the unmanifest?

It's kind of like a rhetorical question.

EDIT: A slightly more accurate (though possibly clunkier) version would be "As for all things, aren't they such that they are resolved in the unmanifest?"
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Re: Bankei's All Things Resolved

Postby Astus » Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:22 pm

I think Bankei's example might help with the meaning of "resolved/organised":

その不生でととのひまする不生の証拠は、皆の衆がこちらむひて、身どもがかふ云う事を聴いてござるうちに、後にて烏の声雀の声、それぞれの声を聞こうと、思う念を生ぜずに居るに、烏の声雀の声が通じわかれて、間違わずに聞こゆるは、不生で聞くといふものでござるわひの。

"In the Unborn, all things are perfectly resolved. I can give you proof that they are. While you're facing me listening to me speak like this, if a crow cawed or a sparrow chirped, or some other sound occurred somewhere behind you, you would have no difficulty knowing it was a crow or a sparrow, or whatever, even without giving a thought to listening to it, because you were listening by means of the Unborn." (tr. Waddel, p. 40)

So, thanks PorkChop for highlighting that in the original saying it is actually a negative question and not a statement.

Later Waddel (p. 55) actually translates 調 using a different expression: "the Buddha-mind puts all things in perfect order by means of the Unborn" (佛心は不生にして、一切事がととのう。)

Now I feel quite confident in saying that "resolves" has the meaning of solution by harmonisation. Thanks Qianxi for giving a summary on the meaning of 調 in Chinese, it is a useful set of associations.

And if anyone else has something more to add, please do so.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Bankei's All Things Resolved

Postby garudha » Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:20 am

The use of "resolved" means lack of inherent conflict which naturally exists in the manifest. Obviously the un-manifest is referred to as "unborn".

I understand, from the bits you posted, this text refers to the Bodhi principality of transcendental experience.
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